Journal List > Korean J Community Nutr > v.16(4) > 1038312

Kim, Son, Kim, and Lyu: Perception and Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Diabetic Patients in Busan Area


The purpose of this study was to investigate the perception and utilization of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for diabetic patients in Busan. The subjects were 227 patients at two general hospitals (over 400 bed). This study was performed through the interviewing process using questionnaires conducted from January to April, 2010. Of a total of subjects, 109 patients (48.0%) had taken CAM at least one time. The patients used CAM recognized that they were 'auxiliary medicines' (39.4%), 'supplementary health foods' (32.1%) and 'medicines' (19.3%), but inexperienced patients perceived them as 'supplementary health foods' (29.6%), 'unscientific treatment' (22.6%) and 'medicines' (20.2%), It was significantly different between two groups of patients (p < 0.001). The number of CAM types used for the patients was 51. The CAM types were plant foods (64.3%), dietary supplement (23.6%) and animal diets (12.1%). The patients used an average of 5.9 different kinds of CAM and an average of 3.8 years them and paid \93,345 per month. The patients with diabetic complications and for longer morbidity periods used CAM for significantly (p < 0.05) longer periods. The mean effectiveness scores of the patients used CAM were 3.31/5.00 for efficacy satisfaction, 3.58/5.00 for fewer side effects compared to those of oral drugs, 3.60/5.00 for psychological stability, 3.81/5.00 for easiness to use, and 3.06/5.00 for economic satisfaction. Of the patients that used CAM, 55.9% did not consult with doctors about CAM. More than two-thirds of the patients (77.1%) did not feel the need to consult with doctors.

Figures and Tables

Table 1
General characteristics of the patients

1) N (%)

Table 2
Medical history of the patients

1) N (%), **: p < 0.01

Table 3
The opinions about complementary and alternative medicine

1) N (%), ***: p < 0.001

Table 4
The number of CAM1) types used for experienced patients

Multiple response

1) CAM : Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Table 5
Utilization of CAM1) of experienced patients

1) CAM : Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Table 6
The number of used and terms of use of CAM2) by morbidity periods and diabetic complication with experienced patients

1) Mean ± SD

2) CAM : Complementary and Alternative Medicine

a,b: Mean followed by different letters are significantly different by Duncan's multiple range test

Table 7
The perception of effectiveness of CAM2) by morbidity periods and diabetic complication with experienced group

Scale score : 1 (very bad) - 5 (very good)

1) Mean ± SD

2) CAM : Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Table 8
Counseling with doctor and concurrency of medical treatment and CAM1) using

1) CAM: Complementary and Alternative Medicine


This research was supported by the Pukyong National University Research Fund in 2009 (PK-2009-69)


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